When one of my couples contacted me about a vow renewal ceremony it got me thinking about wedding readings that are a fit for two people who want to renew their commitment to each other and honor the place they have been, as well as the place they want to be going together.
This couple had been married five years and had been through some tough times. They wanted to reconnect to the power of their love.
Here are some wedding readings that are a nice fit for a vow renewal ceremony. They celebrate the seasoned marriage and the idea of long lasting love.
No need to wait until a Silver anniversary to renew your vows. You can do it any time.
I am not the author of any of these readings or poems. Some are classic, and some are modern and I tried to leave the punctuation as it was written. The author's name appears below the reading as well as a link to their works or more information. It's hard to find out more about Edmund O'Neil, although he is widely quoted and reprinted in the world of wedding readings.
On The True, Seasoned Marriage
When you love someone you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of the tide of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide of life and resist in terrors it's ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life, as in love, is growth... is fluidity... is freedom.
-Ann Morrow Lindbergh, from Gift from the Sea
Marriage Needs Time to Ripen
It takes years to marry completely two hearts, even the most loving and well assorted. A happy wedlock is a falling in love. Young persons think love belongs to the brow-haired and crimson cheeked. So it does for its beginning. But the golden marriage is part of love which the bridal day knows nothing of.... Such a large and sweet fruit is marriage that is needs a long summer to ripen, and then a long winter to mellow and season it.
Marriage Joins Two People
Marriage offers opportunities for sharing growth
that no other human relationship can equal.
It is an emotional and physical joining that is promised for a lifetime.
Within the circle of love,
marriage encompasses all of life's most important relationships.
A wife and husband are each others best friend,
confidant, lover, teacher, listener and critic.
Marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life.
Happiness is fuller; memories are fresher;
even anger is felt more intensely, and passes away more quickly.
Marriage understands and forgives,
the mistakes that life is unavoidable to avoid.
It encourages and nurtures new life, new experiences
and new ways of expressing your love through the seasons.
When two people pledge to love and care for each other in marriage,
they create a spirit unique to themselves,
which binds them closer than any spoken or written words.
Marriage is a promise and potential,
made in the hearts of two people who are in love,
that takes a lifetime to fulfill.
-- Edmund O'Neil
I Carry Your Heart With Me
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Prayer for a Marriage
When we are old one night,
and the moon arcs over the house
like an antique china saucer,
and the tea cup sun
follows somewhere far behind
I hope the stars deepen to a shine
So bright you could read by it, If you liked,
and the sadness we will have known will go away for a while,
in this hour or two before sleep,
and that we kiss, standing in the kitchen,
not fighting gravity so much as embodying its sweet force,
And I hope we kiss, Like we do today,
Knowing so much good is said in the primitive tongue --
From the wild first surprising ones,
To the lower dizzy ten thousand infinitely slower ones -
And I hope while we stand there in the kitchen,
Making tea and kissing,
The whistle of the teapot wakes the neighbors.
The Place Poem
I could open the doors and the windows
to great winds
Let everything be scattered,
like loose sheets of paper
Let tumbling take sense and proportion
from what we have put in order.
That suits us,
but it would not change anything.
You have come in,
and your entrance has been final.
You do not leave me,
nor do I leave you, beloved.
We have made this house our place,
And our shelter.
When we go out,
we will go out together.
Is there a wedding reading or poem you would recommend or use for a vow renewal?